Science

Magnum Moon cruises to victory in the Arkansas Derby

Magnum Moon cruises to victory in the Arkansas Derby”

Magnum Moon lived up to all the pre-race hype by winning the $1 million Arkansas Derby on Saturday afternoon at Oaklawn Park.

Unraced as a juvenile, Magnum Moon began his assault on the so-called "Curse of Apollo" - which references the fact no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Kentucky Derby without a start as a 2-year-old - when he broke his maiden at first asking at Gulfstream Park on January 13.

Along with the Grade 1 win, Magnum Moon earned 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is enough to clinch a spot inside the top 20. The 150 points were the most of any horse this year.

A Springfield family may just have the horse to win them a Kentucky Derby.

"We have to bust it up", he said.

Bred by Ramona Bass out of the Unbridled's Song mare Dazzling Song, Magnum Moon bolstered his earnings to $1,177,800 while remaining unbeaten in four starts.

"Get ready Kentucky, there's a bad moon on the rise!" said Oaklawn track announcer Vic Stauffer when Magnum Moon crossed the finish line in the $1,000,000 race. I think he was maybe just drifting away from that.

The bay colt trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Luis Saez, set an easy pace out front early on and never gave up the lead.

"I thought it (his race) was very good", Pletcher said. "Very pleased with the outcome". There were some nice horses in this race. "He's won a number of different ways now, and I think he's proven that he's the kind of horse that doesn't need the race to unfold a certain way, that he's able to kind of make his own race".

"I don't know", Walden said. [I was] a little concerned that he drifted out the last part, but it looked like he sort of halfway thought about jumping over the tire marks when he went the by the eighth pole where the gate was and sort of skipped over those.

Pletcher referred to tracks from the starting gate on the home stretch. With Saez slowing the tempo to a dirge, the 3-year-old Magnum Moon improved to 4-0 lifetime with a four-length triumph over Quip in the first Grade 1 race for all but show horse Solomini.

Solomini, third in the Arkansas Derby and second in the Rebel, is pointing for the Kentucky Derby, Justin Zayat, racing and stallion manager for Zayat Stables, LLC, which co-owns the Curlin colt, said in a text Sunday morning.

Quip trainer Rodolphe Brisset said he did not expect Magnum Moon to take the lead. "We could have tried to go on the lead". "I think Florent did the right thing". The horse also won an allowance race at Tampa Bay Downs and broke maiden with a victory at Gulfstream Park earlier this year. Magnum Moon earned 50 points for his 3 ½-length victory in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 17, Oaklawn's final major local prep for the Arkansas Derby.

A last-out Grade 2 victor at Tampa Bay Downs, where Magnum Moon made his second start, Quip shadowed his rival down the backstretch. "Combatant is still physically developing". "Of course, we'd love to win a Kentucky Derby, but to win an Arkansas Derby is really, really special, and I was so anxious about him coming out of the gate with the lead". My heart just sank.



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